Twelve people were arrested and eleven charged for their involvement in the kidnapping of a United States citizen in Cali, announced the Prosecutor General’s website on Thursday.
The incident reportedly took place on Tuesday when the victim, identified as Robert Paul Simmons, entered a taxi in the city’s San Fernando region. Armed men boarded the vehicle, forcing the man to surrender his belongings and withdraw more than $750 from an ATM.
Mr Simmons was held captive by the kidnappers in a Cali suburb, until he was found and liberated by Colombia’s national police.
Commander of Cali’s Metropolitan Police, Miguel Angel Bojaca, said “The kidnappers’ plan was to keep the foreigner prisoner and demand a ransom for his freedom.”
The authorities, however, were alerted to the location by the sound of gunshots and managed to rescue the victim without any casualties.
Police arrested twelve people at the scene, including one underage female who was then released.
In a pre-trial hearing the eleven detained people received charges of kidnapping, theft and possession of illegal firearms. They will await trial in the Villahermosa and El Buen Pastor city penitentiaries.